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1611mac

Exclusively "Local Church Only"

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There is a what could be called a "Local Church Only" view amongst some churches/pastors. (I welcome better terminology here if it exists.)  Make no mistake, I am a local church. I believe all the "widely accepted" things the Bible teaches on the local church (1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.)  

I know some who take "Local Church" to a higher degree, so to speak (again, I welcome better terminology.) Typical teaching for these would be:

- ALL truth is found ONLY in the local church (thus, the local church is the ONLY legitimate teacher of Scripture)
- No education is to occur outside their own local church.  (Members cannot attend any educational system even of another like minded local church.
- Baptism is done under the authority of EACH local church (re-baptize upon membership change.)
- All missionaries should be trained and sent from their local church.
- A new church can only be "birthed" by a "mother" church, yet, I've been told "first hand" by some who teach this that they don't believe a church needs to be able to "trace" its history from church to churc.  This seems contradictory to me.

I am not asking for debate.  My interest is in learning more about how "widespread" this teaching is, and, having a general open discussion. I feel stronger about some of these concepts than others. Some are easier to consider than others (based on scripture.)

It would really be nice to have all this work in the local church... but I'm thinking of the difficulty of a local church of a dozen people sending out a missionaries and or training any young person.  Not every church can have a Bible Institute, etc.  

Discussion?  

 

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Hello 1611mac

I think I know where you are coming from.
Here is my story.

I was born again, during lunch at work, in response to a message preached on the radio by Oliver B Green.  I had no Church background at all, before that(so I had no teleological baggage to unlearn).  Over the next few years, from simply my personal Bible study, I came to this conclusion.
The moment that I asked Jesus to save me and was born again, I became a member of “the CHURCH”(or, “the body of Christ”).  Then later on, when I joined a Baptist Church by water baptism, I became a member of “a Church”.  During those first few years, I regularly called these two definitions of “the Church”, The visible Church and the invisible Church.  Being “invisible”, because only the LORD knows, which professing Christian, is a member of it.
I see, Romans 6:3-4, as perfectly describing these two baptisms....
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

The 1st in V.3, being baptized into Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.
Which led to V.4, “Therefore”, we are baptized into his death, by a local Church!
------------------------
This made(makes), perfect sense to me: But then, over the years, I discovered that for some reason, a lot of people have a big problem with this view.

By the way, I see this view, as having more weight, because I didn’t get it from any man, but from my personal Bible study........
"But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." (1 John 2:27)

 

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Thank for replying Donald...   I was a member of a church that "migrated" to this ultra "local church only" stand.  I ended up leaving the church over it.  Best church I was ever in other than their teaching on the local church. If you didn't agree 100% with EVERY POINT of their stand then they said you believed in the "universal church" and you were AGAINST the "local church."  That's crazy.

Getting ready for services this morning.. much more to say later.

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On ‎2‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 1:54 PM, 1611mac said:

 

I know some who take "Local Church" to a higher degree, so to speak (again, I welcome better terminology.) Typical teaching for these would be:

- ALL truth is found ONLY in the local church (thus, the local church is the ONLY legitimate teacher of Scripture)
- No education is to occur outside their own local church.  (Members cannot attend any educational system even of another like minded local church.
- Baptism is done under the authority of EACH local church (re-baptize upon membership change.)
- All missionaries should be trained and sent from their local church.
- A new church can only be "birthed" by a "mother" church, yet, I've been told "first hand" by some who teach this that they don't believe a church needs to be able to "trace" its history from church to church.  This seems contradictory to me.

 

This type teaching would likely be found in any Baptist churches who teach what is known as Old Landmarkism or Baptist-Bride.   There may be an association of Baptist churches [American Baptist Association and the Baptist Missionary Association of America] where this type teaching would be more common. 

James Robinson Graves (1820-1893) has been called the father of "Old Landmarkism."  He wrote a book entitled Old Landmarkism.

I know of one book that addresses this teaching.  It is entitled Old Landmarkism and the Baptists by Bob Ross, published by Pilgrim Publications in 1979.

Bob Ross claimed:  "According to Landmarkers, there is no authority in either the Word or from the Spirit for doing the work of the Great Commission; this authority comes solely from the local Baptist church" (Old Landmarkism, p. 5).

Bob Ross wrote:  "New churches must be granted authority by a 'mother' church; baptism must be by a church-appointed administrator and must be authorized by the church; 'alien immersion' (non-Baptist immersion) is not to be accepted; 'open communion' is not to be practiced; preachers must be ordained by 'scriptural' churches; and 'true' Baptists must not unionize with non-Baptists" (p. 19).

Thus, Bob Ross seems to be describing the same-type teaching to which you refer.

 

Edited by Tyndale

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On 4/9/2017 at 10:54 PM, Tyndale said:

This type teaching would likely be found in any Baptist churches who teach what is known as Old Landmarkism or Baptist-Bride.   There may be an association of Baptist churches [American Baptist Association and the Baptist Missionary Association of America] where this type teaching would be more common. 

James Robinson Graves (1820-1893) has been called the father of "Old Landmarkism."  He wrote a book entitled Old Landmarkism.

I know of one book that addresses this teaching.  It is entitled Old Landmarkism and the Baptists by Bob Ross, published by Pilgrim Publications in 1979.

Bob Ross claimed:  "According to Landmarkers, there is no authority in either the Word or from the Spirit for doing the work of the Great Commission; this authority comes solely from the local Baptist church" (Old Landmarkism, p. 5).

Bob Ross wrote:  "New churches must be granted authority by a 'mother' church; baptism must be by a church-appointed administrator and must be authorized by the church; 'alien immersion' (non-Baptist immersion) is not to be accepted; 'open communion' is not to be practiced; preachers must be ordained by 'scriptural' churches; and 'true' Baptists must not unionize with non-Baptists" (p. 19).

Thus, Bob Ross seems to be describing the same-type teaching to which you refer.

 

I agree with Tyndale's assessment.

Lardmarkism vehemently claims church succession back to the apostles, so only a church planted by another "Landmark" congregation would be viewed as a "true church".

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I won't claim any great knowledge of Landmarkism, but I will agree with the consensus that this viewpoint does sound very cultish.  I can realistically see how a church arrived at that point, though I would still disagree with it.  There's actually an independent, fundamental (or so they say) Baptist church nearby that would probably be heading this direction in my opinion.  VERY closed off and have even told their members they can never attend a service or event at any other independent baptist church - only with them.  Made it interesting when their friends/family invited them to our church.  :)  But, per your question, I would daresay it's not "widespread".

 

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This view has been around for a long time. Old time BBFI churches hold to this view. It is not Baptist bride. It's view is that all ministries should be attached to a local church. They would not support ministries like the Bill Rice Ranch because they are independent. PCC is also another example.

They would support Crown College because it is run by a local church.  I grew up in this teaching and believe that ministries that are running by local churches are typically stronger on the word of God and don't falter

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Well now, let's not get too hard down on this view. There is some truth to what they say, though many take it too far. I'm not entirely sure you can show anywhere in the Bible where it uses the word "church" that cannot apply to the local church. Really it becomes a big rhetorical argument where people get "church of God", "family of God", and "Kingdom of God" all mixed up.

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On 2/25/2017 at 10:54 AM, 1611mac said:

It would really be nice to have all this work in the local church... but I'm thinking of the difficulty of a local church of a dozen people sending out a missionaries and or training any young person.  Not every church can have a Bible Institute, etc.

I'm  not "picking" on you or your text 1611mac, but I see this particular statement as the prime reasoning behind associations, conventions and mission boards, none of which are local churches or scriptural.

When I lived in Alaska our small "end of the road" church put two missionary families on the Russian mission field, as well as financially contributing to the support of other missionaries. These men as well as others, Including myself were wholly trained by our original missionary pastor.

These men were successful in planting two churches is far east Russia. Once their work there was done and local pastors installed, they came home and worked as home missionaries in Alaska.

There are good "institutes" and bad institutes, but the best institute is a local church that has a pastor who is able and willing to teach, disciple and prepare men for the ministry. After all, one of the qualifications for a pastor is "apt to teach."

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I did say "It would really be nice to have all this work in the local church"....    I agree with you that God's plan for this time is to work through the local church.  My point was merely that God, can, however, work in other ways should He so choose.  I personally believe He could raise up a group of people to properly establish (plant) a church. But the group I refer to say "No, only another church can plant a church. Only a church has the authority."  But I say, God has the ultimate authority and if He wants to raise up a church to answer the prayer of a group of fervently praying people so they can establish a Biblical church then He can do that.  The group I refer to would say no.  If it doesn't come from a local church it has no authority and is illegitimate.

I had someone tell me once that all truth comes through the local church and he said that people studying on their own outside of the church was "dangerous." That scares me. 

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I guess I strayed from the OP where you were addressing "Local Church Only". Sorry for dragging your post off topic.

In my limited experience, in recent times, I have come to see this particular phrase as applying to a very extremist teaching. I agree with some of the points in this kind of reasoning, but object to others that I see as "extremist". Like everything else in life some things may start out with good intentions, but then digress into extremism.

So, I will simply state that while I object to the title of "Local Church Only", I do believe in some of the points contained in that phrase, while totally rejecting others. I believe that the truth in this matter lies somewhere between the two extremes.

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Agree... I confess I am very opinionated on the subject because I was a member of a church that was pretty "normal" (please just accept that term) then the pastor made a very sharp turn suddenly to being "Local Church Only" in the extreme.  And you will just have to trust me that it was extreme. 

And please do trust that I know what the Bible teaches about the church (the pillar and ground of the truth), but I do believe that people can sit at home, read their Bible, and be taught truth by the Holy Spirit.  Not everything HAS to occur in the church setting....

You doing OK Bro. Jim?  Been a while since we've talked.  I'm very very busy and I find it difficult to post on the forum but I do watch..... :)

Edited by 1611mac

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